"What were you doing - were you spying on me?" A fascinating new featurette has debuted for the film Pawn Sacrifice, starring Tobey Maguire as chess prodigy Bobby Fischer. The film is an extensive look at Fischer's time battling Russian rival Boris Spassky in the 70's (read my TIFF review). The featurette looks at Fischer's various problems and paranoia that made him so unique, and made him a bit crazy. There's a great collection of scenes from this intersperse with the explanations of what's going on in his mind. In addition to Maguire, Pawn Sacrifice stars Liev Schreiber, Lily Rabe, Michael Stuhlbarg & Peter Sarsgaard. If you're a chess fan, or Bobby Fischer aficionado, or any of this makes you curious, I recommend this film.
"She needed to be soulful, feisty and complicated." Eon Productions has released a new featurette for Sam Mendes' Spectre, due out in theaters in just a few more months. This one profiles the Bond Women of Spectre, specifically two of the women from this Bond movie - Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann, and Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra. They left out Moneypenny! But that's okay, she's still awesome. In this featurette, Sam Mendes profiles both characters and discusses their casting. Monica Bellucci looks very mysterious, but Léa Seydoux looks badass as she's apparently always on the run. Can't wait. In theaters fall.
"Benji! Open the door!" Paramount has debuted a new featurette focusing on the incredible airplane stunt that Tom Cruise did for Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. We've all seen the footage in the trailers, and seen the photos, but this shows you some of the actual raw footage of Cruise himself strapped to the frickin' airplane while it takes off. Yes, he did this for real. This is a very short featurette that only shows the stunt and the raw footage and that's it. I mean, I want to see this purely for this stunt, but I'm curious about the rest of the movie, too. Plus it's cool to see this raw footage now (without waiting for the DVD). Enjoy!
You won't be ready for this. During the Lucasfilm Comic-Con 2015 panel, J.J. Abrams debuted a beautiful behind-the-scenes featurette for Star Wars: The Force Awakens that features no new footage from the actual film, but tons of footage that will make your jaw drop. This is the video that will finally make you realize they got this right, everything about it seems like they're getting back to that amazing feeling of the original trilogy. All the practical creatures, all the sets, all the cast, all the nostalgia, all the new glimpses. This really looks wonderful, and this is the kind of video that just makes me feel relieved. I'm not worried. This is going to be awesome. Right about halfway through I couldn't help tearing up, hit me right in the gut.
"The greatest hits of arcade game characters in one movie - it's pretty insane." Sony has debuted a set of featurettes for Pixels, the video game invasion movie still due out this summer. The first one introduces us to the "arcade heroes" that we follow - Adam Sandler as Sam Brenner, Peter Dinklage as Eddie Plant, Josh Gad as Ludlow Lamonsoff, and Michelle Monaghan as Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten. Kevin James also co-stars. The other featurette focuses on Ashley Benson as Lady Lisa, another video game character come to life. She plays a badass villain of sorts, fighting Ludlow with swords most of the time. From Sony: "Watch the cast of Pixels describe what it was like working with their favorite 80s arcade characters." Enjoy!
"We're going to make this as real as we can make it." Whoa this looks crazy! Universal has debuted a short behind-the-scenes featurette for Baltasar Kormákur's Everest movie, about the 1996 disaster on Everest. The video profiles the on-location shooting in the Dolomites, to make the film feel and look as authentic as possible. It definitely works. Some of the behind-the-scenes shots from this are as amazing as the footage from the movie itself - see the first trailer. I've been anxiously awaiting this movie ever since first hearing about it, and the footage so far looks incredible and so intense. This video explains why - because Baltasar wanted to achieve "big, epic movie moments" for real. Watch this video below, then rewatch the first trailer.
"It's being very respectful of the first two films… then all of a sudden it just swerves… and now I'm going on a journey." This is pretty much the definitive "James Cameron tells you to go out and see the damn movie" video. I know it's probably nicely edited footage, but seriously, they got James Cameron to talk up Terminator: Genisys! So all you haters pay attention. Thanks to a tip from SlashFilm, a new featurette has launched on Yahoo that has James Cameron basically narrating tons of new footage from Alan Taylor's Terminator: Genisys. I've actually heard the movie is better than we're all expecting. Cameron says this is kind of the third movie in the series, forget Terminator 3 and that other one. Fire it up to hear what he says.
"Nobody had seen any movies like this before - where the stoners were the good guys, and the cops were the bad guys." The Academy (of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, that gives out the Oscars) has launched an online featurette profiling Cheech & Chong's Up in Smoke, the classic stoner movie that has influenced pretty much every stoner movie ever since. The video has interviews with Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, along with plenty of others, and it looks back at the film's release and impact on the comedy genre. There's a charming, laidback vibe to the video and their feelings about the film's impact. He really hits the nail on the head when Chong says: "it feels like you just smoked a nice joint, you know…" Yeah man, totally.
"Just like taking a stroll through the woods… 65 million years ago." Universal is going all out! Not only putting John Hammond's voice in one of their latest TV spots for Jurassic World (and this video), but now they've released an entire featurette featuring Steven Spielberg talking about this new movie. A new featurette has hit the web and not only does it have Spielberg, there's actually lots of new footage, or at least a few interesting bits they haven't shown before. There's a better shot of the gate (see above), lots of new shots of the raptors, a cool look inside the main building, some new action beats, and that moment with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard at the truck at the end. I must say, I am really excited to see this.
We now have two weeks until Mad Max: Fury Road hits theaters, and just after one final trailer for the big chase blockbuster arrived earlier this week, the first featurette taking us behind the scenes of the bonkers flick has arrived. The action in the trailers promises some mind-blowing stunts, and this featurette shows director George Miller on the desert set, with moving vehicles and all, showing just how berserk this film is going to be. Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and more also offer their thoughts on Miller as a director and hype the film's wonderful chaos. The more I see, the more excited I get to see this flick. Watch!
Even though blockbuster summer officially begins with The Avengers: Age of Ultron kicking off with 7pm screenings all over the United States tonight, we've still got a little while to wait for one of the other anticipated releases this season, Jurassic World. Just recently we got a slew of dinosaur action in the second theatrical trailer, finally showing off the intimidating Indominus Rex, and now we get a new featurette, complete with nostalgia from stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, director Colin Trevorrow and more for the original 1993 action adventure where everything started, Jurassic Park. And then it shifts gears to begin talking about Jurassic World, with some words from Steven Spielberg.
Sadly, audiences didn't head to theaters in greater numbers to see Edge of Tomorrow (or Live Die Repeat as it's now known on home video). It's a shame, because the Tom Cruise vehicle proved to be far more entertaining the even the trailers led on, and it's a fantastic and fun sci-fi action adventure. And if you're just now stumbling upon the greatness that is Edge of Tomorrow, perhaps you'd like to know more about the visual effects. Thankfully, Academy Originals just released a new installment that looks at how the final sequence in Paris was created, mostly with visual effects, and it's an impressive look behind the scenes.
There's still a lot of mystery surrounding this summer's sci-fi adventure Tomorrowland from director Brad Bird, but it's a Disney film, and it has direct ties to the theme park attraction of the same name that has been around for decades since Walt Disney was still alive. Now two new featurettes dive into the fascination that Disney himself had with the innovations of the future, and the ideas he had in order to make civilization more efficient, not to mention the narrative in the film as well. And the footage also shows that there's a lot of inspiration from the past with regards to what we'll see on the big screen next month.
Without a doubt, one of the most popular characters from the big screen in 2014 was Rocket Raccoon, the feisty, anthropomorphic creature with big guns and even bigger attitude in Guardians of the Galaxy. Bradley Cooper gave the character his signature voice, but a whole crew of people helped bring the little guy to life, and now a short little featurette from the visual effects company Framestore shows how they made it happen. From shooting on set with a stuffed raccoon or a guy in a blue unitard with Rocket's face on it, to pre-visualization and other visual effects, it's a quick progression of how we got the final product. Watch!